Tuesday, October 30, 2012

You Don't Look a Day Over 4

Boyfriend, Please! We've Been Together 4 Years!
How is it possible that I missed my "Blogoversary"? Could it have something to do with hurricane SANDY??? That's it--memorable!   Eh, mebbe except that thus far, fingers crossed, eyes crossed, toes crossed, we still have power here in our little space in Towson.  Instead, I was being domestic since I was off of work--baking bread; pumpkin beer bread (used Guiness)  & banana bread.  Wow! What a change from 4 years ago!  My life has done a complete 180 from the beginning of this blog which was inspired by a bad break-up, to living in a new house that I bought with my boyfriend! In fact, I haven't visited Ok Cupid, Match, eHarmony, J-date (NOT for sailors who want to date other J-boat sailors) etc., since the end of 2009.  Ok, I think I may have gone to OK Cupid to show Xing Fu since he had no need to try the online route & was online-dating curious. But since then, nuffin'. And I like not playing with the on-line stuff....generally, there is no longing to meet ex-preachers with 11 kids for a Telesma Solstice concert anymore.  Although, I wouldn't trade some of the whacked-out experiences I've had--just makes me appreciate my new domestic, blended family & the new adventures in stepmom-land and since I'm still not married....Boyfriend, Please! still works.  But if I continue to get, "So, (pregnant pause) when are you & Xing Fu going to get married?", I may have to go get business cards made that say:

             "No, we aren't getting married.
                 No, not anytime soon.
                 Yes, we like it this way.
                 Yes, many couples who don't marry do
                 Better Together."

Ah, co-habitating bliss! 

And last but not least, it is time for you to go vote for my blog.  You can do this everyday from yesterday to November 8th.  Here's the link: http://data.baltimoresun.com/mobbies/2012/voting/rb-vote-kit.php

That wonderful rag, The Baltimore Sun is sponsoring the Mobbies: Maryland's Outstanding Blogs. So go vote for me in the Lifestyle & Personal blog categories--no money but bragging rights! What a great blogoversary present--it's a gift that keeps giving!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baltimore Racing & Mobbies

Been a busy few weeks but I've managed to escape to Annapolis most weekends to sail.  The season in winding down & it is depressing--I have to accept that summer is over!  But, one more race this weekend & believe it or not, it's up in Baltimore!  I'm very excited by this because I NEVER get to race in Baltimore. See the link:

And even better both Xing Fu & my kid will be sailing with me!  The best of all worlds! What an awesome way to end my racing season.  Actually, there is one more race that I'll be in--it is the Left-over Bowl the Saturday after Thanksgiving--all of the left-over & unclaimed prizes from the summer are up for grabs depending upon how you finish the race--fun! But I am really looking forward to the regatta this Saturday & will enjoy racing in waters that I grew up on--I will be channeling my grandfather & hope he's looking down from the great ocean in the sky as I race towards the Key Bridge....

On to the fun--Sunday was a Spooky Wine tasting party at my friend C's house in Annapolis--it was great to see a lot of our sailing friends & the wines were very good--of course after a while they all kinda blended together--even I had to admit by that point that the Merlots even tasted good!  Me? Merlot? Bleh!!
But here is a picture of some of what we had:

 And today I found out that this blog was nominated for a "Mobbie"; the Baltimore Sun's contest for Maryland's outstanding blogs.  How cool is that?  So everyone vote for this blog starting October 29th.  All two of my readers!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Say Anything

Peter Gabriel @ the Patriot Center 10-14-2012
Love I get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are

All my instincts, they return

And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

In your eyes

The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat I see in your eyes

Love, I don't like to see so much pain

So much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

--Peter Gabriel In Your Eyes

Yeah, this song brings back huge memories from that movie right in the middle of my college years when good ole' Lloyd Dobler serenades his love Diane Court with this song with a huge boombox over his head:
 You gotta love that movie if you are of a certain age--and the quest to find that kind of love was a driving force behind many of us after we saw that movie--oh, how naive!  And of course real life comes crashing down, with marriage, kids, work, school, & for many of us DIVORCE when we realized that the men we married were no Lloyd Doblers.  But it's nice to think about how we were back then & perhaps some of us were lucky--we did meet the Lloyds of our dreams. 
 And now, 20 some-odd years later, when I've had a bit of life under my belt, it's interesting to look at the lyrics & realize how little they had to do with my life back then--love was so different when we were younger & to me the lyrics aside from the refrain, have nothing to do with Lloyd's love for Diane.  OK all you haters!!  Time to throw some daggers at me.  My interpretation is for mature audiences only!  This song is about a much more mature love.  It's the kind of love that you have after the kids, work, & marriage.  And, because it is such a good song, it could have just as much meaning to the Romeo & Juliet set as well, but I don't think so.  

"And you may ask yourself, 'Where does this highway lead to?'" (heh, Talking Heads--mixed metaphor)  well, I'll tell ya'.
Xing Fu & I saw Peter Gabriel in concert last night at the Patriot Center in Virgina for his So tour (25 years later). It was a great concert & it was great hearing the songs that helped define my college years.   Of course he played this song but when I really listened to the lyrics, I was moved in a way that I hadn't been before. Xing Fu & I often remark how hard we work at this relationship--more than we have for any other one we've been in--this song sorta tells that story & how we can get back to the Lloyd Dobler love if we want to.  Particularly the lines:

Love I get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

Because sometimes we do get lost--and if we don't find the center together again, & work hard to reclaim our love, that is when it fails--letting days pass without communicating that things aren't as they should be.  And the second two lines could be interpreted as just working hard at a job (I don't think so) or working so hard on the relationship--which is how I look at it.  And perhaps looking to the future together & how a relationship is supposed to make the individuals in the relationship better people because of the other. Just my take on it--either way, I sent them to Xing Fu this morning & he got it--as I knew he would.  With the way things have been since we bought the house together, this song was a very good thing to hear last night.  Thanks Peter Gabriel!

Post script:
I had to put my almost 16 year old dog to sleep on Friday, one of the hardest decisions I've ever made.  Buddy was a calm, sweet dog who always had his paw to give.  He is & will be missed.  R.I.P. Buddy.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Second Generation Stepmom

I have been writing a lot recently about being a new stepmom & I’ve mentioned in the past, that I too, had a stepmom or two, actually.  I’d like to think that I have an idea about what it’s like to be a step-daughter & now I have understanding of being the step-parent as well.  But, it is so funny that being a step-anything never seems to go away—even after 20 + years!  Here’s a story about being an adult step-daughter & how relationships don’t seem to change.  
Back then:
So my dad remarried a woman only 9 years older than me when I was 12.  I’ll call her the Evil Queen or EQ (she was/is very beautiful, but oh, so COLD-hearted—like the queen in Snow White) & I’m not trying to perpetuate the myth of the wicked stepmom either—she just fit the caricature so well. She was not a very good stepmom (I really hope I’m better at it)—I’ve said that before & the trend continues—even after my dad is long gone from this earth—more on that in a bit. She was my first step-mom. My dad & she had a son (19 years my junior)--& then they got divorced.  I gotta say that after attempting to build a relationship with her & having a brother too, it makes it really hard when things go south on a second marriage.  But, then my dad married a third woman & this time, she & I seemed to have a very positive step-mom/daughter relationship.  I was an adult by then with a child of my own so maybe that had something to do with it, idk.  Let’s call her Miss S.  Then my dad died & left no will.  This is where things get icky.  My dad & Miss S were living together but EQ had a key for her then teenaged son.  She went in & took a bunch of stuff from the house—she claimed that it was for my brother’s future since he should have all of our father’s things.   OK, what are my sister & I, no longer our father’s children since the birth of the brother??  Don’t we have claim to our father’s things as well so that we have things to remember him by?  Apparently not, according to EQ.  But, Miss S called me & told me that I should come to my dad’s place immediately & take the things that I wanted before EQ came back & cleaned it all out.  Mind you, my dad lived 80 miles away & I had to take off work & hi-tail it up there.  Miss S was an angel though, because I was able to get some things that were big reminders of my life growing up with my dad, namely some furniture that actually belonged to my mom first.  What I didn’t get was an old Seth Thomas time-clock that belonged to my grandfather—my mom’s dad.  Because when EQ caught wind that I was up there gathering things, she stormed into the house & screamed at me to stop immediately—I was young, this being almost 15 years ago, & was very cowed by her threats.  

Cut to today:
My Mom will be 70 next month & she mentioned to my sister & me that the one thing that she really wanted was her dad’s factory clock back from EQ (who claims she’s saving it for our brother).  Why my brother wants an old clock is beyond me & it really doesn’t belong to either of them anyway.  So my sister called EQ to see if it were possible to have/buy the clock.  She offered a lot more than the thing is worth too.  But the response, even after almost 15 years was, “No. Your brother needs to have something to remember his father by.”  Um, my brother is an adult now!  If he wanted the DAMN clock, he would have it!!  She wants the clock—which is not hers! And he (she) has plenty of stuff (which isn’t his/hers) to remember our father by!!  So as stepmothers go—even after so many years, she still is mean & petty.   I just don’t get it—why is it so important?  We are linked forever by my father, who is long in the ground.  My mom is going to be 70 for god’s sake!  Let her have something of her beloved father’s.  He was very loved by all of us too—and deeply missed.  I guess that I expect that people will figure out that it is better to forge better bonds with one another than to continue old patterns of behavior & interaction—that is my plan for my step-daughters—continue to work hard to form a better bond with them.  Mebbe my expectations are too high.  I hope not.  Come on EQ & bro—do the right thing!  Karma’s a bitch afterall!

Monday, October 1, 2012

What I Learned

Here we are, under sail--nirvana
Change your heart, look around you
Change your heart, it will astound you
I need your loving like the sunshine
And everybody's gotta learn sometime
Everybody's gotta learn sometime
Everybody's gotta learn sometime


I learned that for me sailing is my own personal nirvana & when the stepfamily situation becomes overwhelming I know that sailing will keep me sane (even if while racing things can be insane).  This past weekend taught me that not only am I obsessed (we all knew this) but also, there is probably no other place on this earth where I am as happy as when I'm sailing & if Xing Fu is with me--added bonus!  The friends I've made over the years doing this sport are priceless and I really do feel bereft as winter settles in & the season is over.  This may be my frostbite year.....or at least the Leftover Bowl Regatta the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  

I learned that as a stepmother I must have a place to call my own--someplace to heal & be me & that is out with my friends on the bay--racing, cruising, SAILING.  And my friend C says it best, "It is amazing how many things come full circle - relationships change, friends change, WE change, and you don't know it until sometimes it smacks you in the face...with a roast beef sandwich and cookies...if life is an adventure and sailing is an adventure, then the sailing life is happiness unleashed!"